Wow. So eloquently put.
Not so surprisingly, that statement caused quite an outrage, spurring a group of women to stand up against the whole ’you asked for it’ mentality when it comes to sexual violence. Pretty noble cause. Like many women and men, I’m a firm believer in ‘no means no.’ It kills me when they blame the victim. Given all of this, I prepared to stand firm behind these female idealists. Then they announced their mission:
They want to take the word ‘slut’ back.
Here’s a quote from their website (www.slutwalktoronto.com):
Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.
We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.
This groups course of action? SlutWalks! On scheduled days in a North American city near you, women everywhere are invited to dress up in their Saturday worst and strut their stuff for empowerment. Sluts of the world unite!
I’m going to say something incredibly shocking: a lot of moms like sex. They consider themselves ‘in charge of their sexual life.’ So does that authorize them to walk around in tight fitting mini dresses with their butts hanging out the bottom? Gross.
Granted, I can't say the whole promiscuity/sex for (ahem) ‘work’ thing applies to many of us. In truth, I doubt we're considered part of SlutWalk's target audience. If we are, though, allow me to say this:
I don’t want to take the word ‘slut’ back. I never had it in the first place. And if you are a woman who dresses like a tramp, has sex with a lot of men, and does both of these in such flagrant fashion that it’s obvious to all….well, all I’ll say is if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck....
Now don’t get me wrong. Rape is a violent act and rapists are downright sick. Some victims dress like hoochie mamas, others dress like nuns. Regardless, it is common knowledge that wearing provocative clothing invites sexual attention. You can't tell me you're shocked by this revelation.
Women have the right to dress any way they want. They also have the right to leave their car unlocked with the keys in the ignition. Is it wrong if someone steals their car? Absolutely. Could they have done anything to prevent it? Yes.
If you want to avoid being a victim, be smart. Dress smart. If you do decide to dress a little risqué one night and someone accosts you, I will strongly be in your corner. But, all in all, I’d rather you try and avoid the whole situation in the first place.
If you don’t want to be treated like a slut, the best course of action is not to dress like one. They're harsh words but they're also the truth.
So to you SlutWalk folks, please stick to your original message. That one I can get behind. But don't equate the word 'slut' with sexual empowerment. That just doesn't sit well with me.